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Penthouse Attempts to Cash in with Christian Dating Site BigChurch

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“Meet people who share the same spiritual beliefs as you!”  That’s what it says on the homepage of Christian daiting site BigChurch, but apparently they’re not referring to their ownership.  Newsweek revealed that BigChurch.com is operated by the social-networking giant Various, Inc., which was purchased in December by the Penthouse Media Group.

In addition to BigChurch, the Penthouse/Various company also operates social networking sites for swingers, homosexuals, and of course pornography.  (See the Newsweek article if you want more details.)

The online match-making industry is very profitable, and the way to successfully get a piece of that action is to create dating sites that focus on a specific niche, such as Christians.  Focusing on a niche causes users to feel like they’re among like-minded people, that they can be more open about who they are, and they are more likely to find a person who shares their values.

BigChurch has tried to target the Christian singles in a number of ways.  The homepage includes Christian-sounding phrases like “Brining people together in love and faith.”  It includes a quote supposedly from a happily matched Christian couple, “I feel blessed to have met Shawn on BigChurch.com. I feel like my prayers of finding a respectable man have been answered! Thanks BigChurch!!”  The site even quotes scripture on the homepage, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

It seems to have worked as BigChurch claims to have a half million Christian members worldwide.

In an interview published yesterday on WebProWorld, Penthouse Media Group CEO Marc Bell didn’t seem to see any incongruence saying it was like owning two separate businesses.  Bell also apparently dismissed the idea that BigChurch members would take issue with the site’s ownership.

What do you think?  Do you have a problem with a Christian dating site being owned by a company that produces porn?

BigChurch members – will you continue or will you cancel your membership? 

Spread the word by voting for this article at Blogs4God and PlugRug so others can see it as well.

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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

22 Comments

  • » Penthouse Attempts to Cash in with Christian Dating Site BigChurch…

    Christian singles/dating site BigChurch.com is operated by the social-networking giant Various, Inc., which was purchased in December by the Penthouse Media Group. What do you think about a “Christian” website being owned and operated by a porn publ…

  • Ithink a “Christian” website should not be owned by a porn publisher. That is an oxymoron. The Bible says you can’t serve two masters because you will hate one and love the other. This company needs to decide which one it wants to do, porn or christian.

  • In do time those who cash in on an idustry they do not have in their hearts will be judged by God. Those who have used the site with God in their heart have done so with good intentions. Those going to the site knowing those behind it should stop and consider the many actually Christian run sites that are true to real Christian love and match making. I do youth outreach and found a similiar situation with a youth site at one point to where myself and many other parents helped band the site from the host. As Christians we have to rise above and as the bible teaches us though evil is what it is it can come in many different forms even those that decieves. It also tells us that tose ispreading the word will be held even more accountable than the Christian who lives their daily life as a Christian.

  • It is an interesting question. And Penthouse is really not even part of the equation. All of these sites were run together before Penthouse bought them.

    The site is effective. The software runs well. Of course that is because it is the same software that runs another 5 or 10 other sites, which keeps development costs down and improves the software.

    The site works. (If you are honest about who you are and what you need in a spouse). My sister-in-law was complaining about the how hard it was to find a good Christan guy. So I googled out “christian online dating” and found the site, and singed her up for an account.

    She met someone wonderful, and they have been married for two years and serving God together. Right now, the point is moot for her. I don’t know if someone who is currently using the site discovers this should quit.

    The site itself is “pure” and someone ungodly is making money off of it. Buy pure, I mean that it is a Christian dating site. For the most part it is what it is. A site where lonely Christians are looking online for someone to fall in love with and marry who share have the same faith and beliefs. You know going in, it is a pay site. So someone is making money off of running the site. When you rent and you pay your rent, you don’t know what your ungodly landlord does with the money. Just because he hangs out at the bar does not mean a) you hang out at the bar b) that others will think you are like him or c) That you need to move so as not to help “sponsor” his lifestyle.

    it is just pretty amazing that they would not sell it off. I can’t see it being anything but bad press for them.

  • A sister in Christ who is divorced and presently praying for a new partner asked me to pay her registration for BigChurch. I have been reticent, arguing that the principle of looking for partners online is still debatable in Christian settings and that BigChurch does not appear to be “Christ-like”. Today, I can tell her, ‘sister, time has proven me right, keep praying for a husband and forget about BigDevil in the name of BigChurch’.
    May Christians see the tactics of the devil. If anyone is going to such sites today, it will not be without knowledge. Thanks to ourchurch.com for the info.

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